Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Gossip Quitting Time Incompetence Finding a Job

A good friend of mine works in the back office of a small medical practice. She feels picked on by the doctor and the receptionist. The receptionist complains constantly, and the doctor allows himself to be drawn into her gossip about the back office staff. I've told my friend that she should find an office where there are more employees because what she is experiencing is typical of small medical offices. What do you think?

What your friend is experiencing in a small medical practice is less a function of the size of the office, and more a function of the physician's lack of managerial skills. There are small practices where the levels of communication, trust, and respect are high, and there are huge practices where backbiting, gossip, and teasing are standard operating procedures.

If your friend is dissatisfied with her work situation and feels that she has done all that she can to correct it, she should consider making a move. However, rather than automatically eliminating small practices from her job search, she should try to check out the next employment situation very carefully, regardless of size.

Since leadership sets the climate, tone, and atmosphere of an organization, it will be important for her to meet with departmental leadership in a large practice, and topside leadership in a small one. She should also try to spend time with the other employees. If possible, she should try to have several trips to the doctor's office, as it has been found that multiple visits to a potential employer can be very helpful in the decision-making process.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!